India lodges ‘strong protest’ with US after vandalisation of consulate in San Francisco
The vandalisation took place just a few hours after a pro-Khalistan protestor pulled down the national flag at the Indian High Commission in London.
India on Monday lodged a strong protest about the vandalisation of the Indian consulate in San Francisco with the United States Charge d’Affaires in New Delhi.
Videos from San Francisco showed men carrying Khalistan flags smashing glass panes on doors and windows of the consulate building. The group also spray-painted graffiti that read “Free Amritpal”.
The men were protesting against a crackdown by security forces in Punjab against Sikh group Waris Punjab De – led by Khalistan supporter Amritpal Singh. A manhunt to arrest the self-styled preacher has continued since Saturday and the authorities have taken into custody more than 100 of his supporters.
India’s Ministry of External Affairs said that the United States government was reminded of its basic obligation to protect and secure diplomatic representation. “It [United States government] was asked to take appropriate measures to prevent recurrence of such incidents,” the ministry said.
The Indian Embassy in Washington DC also conveyed its concerns to the US State Department about the vandalisation.
John Kirby, National Security Council Coordinator for strategic communications at the White House, said at a press conference that the vandalism was “absolutely unacceptable”.
“I can’t speak for the San Francisco police, but I can say that the Diplomatic Security Service is working with local authorities to properly investigate,” Kirby said. “And obviously, State Department is going to be working, from an infrastructure perspective, to repair the damage. But it’s unacceptable.”
The vandalisation at the Indian consulate took place just a few hours after a pro-Khalistan protestor pulled down the national flag at the Indian High Commission in London. A group of people were also seen shouting pro-Khalistan slogans outside the mission.
On Sunday, India summoned British Deputy High Commissioner Christina Scott and lodged its “strong protest” against the incident. In a statement, New Delhi said it finds the “indifference of the UK government” towards the security of Indian diplomats and personnel unacceptable.
The Metropolitan Police said that one man was arrested on suspicion of violent disorder, The Hindu reported.
Explained: Who is Amritpal Singh and why is Punjab Police chasing him?